Unemployment numbers out, Jonesboro, Craighead County reporting good numbers

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The latest unemployment numbers show Arkansas has a current unemployment rate of 7.3%. Compare that to 6.6% in Jonesboro and experts say it indicates how strong the economic base is in Jonesboro.

"All the way from agriculture, to construction, as well as retail sales are very strong in our area," President and CEO of the Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce, Mark Young told Region 8 News. Recent numbers released in the Fall Jonesboro Economic Advancement Report show that unemployment numbers in Jonesboro are good.
"We have typically been about 1% below the state average which is typically 1% below the national average," Young said. "So in comparison to most places we've continued to do relatively well."
Young said being strong in multiple job sectors give Jonesboro a strong economic base. He explained that if one sector gets hit, another can still fare well.
Region 8 News asked Young if these numbers were indicative of a strong economy or if Jonesboro residents were giving up on finding work.
"Actually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics have more people employed today than even pre-recession," Young explained.
Ethan McNece with Productive Staffing in Jonesboro said that rings true for their business.
"This growth can be attributed by a strong chamber and a proactive community that's always seeking growth," McNece said.
McNece is the head of Marketing and Sales at productive staffing. He said they've seen an increase in jobs available for Jonesboro residents.
"We have such large manufacturers here in Jonesboro and the recent growth in the medical sector as well. That's where we're going to see a lot of our jobs coming available."
Not only jobs available, but a workforce to support it with the thousands of students who go through Arkansas State University.
Young said getting businesses to Jonesboro is something that doesn't happen on accident.
"We have to continue to do the things to have a great business environment here and continue to grow and nurture the industry that we have here," Young said.
We also looked into the unemployment numbers in Craighead County. In 12 counties across Region 8, Craighead has the lowest unemployment rate at 6.5%. Poinsett County comes in second with a 7.1% unemployment rate.
The national unemployment rate is currently sitting at 8.1%. 
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